In March 2020, a grad student working with Dr. Alexandria Boehm of Stanford contacted SVCW Laboratory to ask for samples to evaluate the presence of COVID-19 in wastewater. Seeing this as a potentially large benefit to science’s knowledge base and to society as a whole, SVCW management approved the request. Twice a week, SVCW’s lab staff collected the wastewater influent composite sample, and our Operators collected primary sludge samples. By the end of March, Stanford researchers decided to continue the collection effort for primary sludge only since it has a higher concentration of SARS-CoV-2 virus compared to wastewater influent.
It was around December 2020 when Stanford received funding from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Foundation to implement an intensive sampling campaign at 8 wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) in California. SVCW was one of the 8 WWTPs that Dr. Boehm requested to participate in this project to monitor the daily concentration of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in wastewater. SVCW gladly agreed and we now receive near real-time data on wastewater levels of SARS. The link to see the data is: https://wbe.stanford.edu.
SVCW is proud to participate in critical research such as this being undertaken by Stanford University. It provides valuable information for epidemiologists and public health officials and helps to further research and development in diseases and their control.